Philippines says Canada helicopters 'not for attack'

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President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday told the Armed Forces to discontinue a helicopter deal with Canada, a day after the Canadian government ordered a review of the purchase.

The Philippine government can consider other sellers of military helicopters, if the Canadian government refuses to push through with the deal, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said on Thursday.

The Crown corporation would not reveal any other details about the deal, citing commercial confidentiality, but media reports say the Philippines government had set aside almost $300 million for the purchase.

The Bell H-13 Sioux, a variant of the Bell 47, was the first helicopter to enter into service with the Philippine Air Force in 1955, Bell said. Human rights groups have reported much higher death tolls and accused law enforcers of carrying out extrajudicial killings and of setting up crime scenes to make the victims appear to have fought back.

"I'm buying helicopters because I want to finish them off", said Duterte, referring to Muslim and communist rebels along with Islamic militants in the country's volatile south.

Those include extrajudicial killings, the destruction of homes, unlawful arrests and other alleged violations.

A New Study On Cell Phone Radiation Raises More Questions
Female rats exposed to the radiation didn't, and neither male nor female mice showed obvious health problems in a second study. In particular, scientists could not find hard evidence for concern about brain tumors.

Asked later whether he was concerned the helicopters might be used against Filipino citizens, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau replied: "Absolutely". The most recent sale, Jagunos added, only underscores the need for answers and safeguards.

The Liberal government has previously been criticized for approving arms exports to countries with questionable human-rights records, most notably the massive deal for light armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia.

NDP foreign affairs critic Helene Laverdiere has added her voice to the chorus of concern, writing on Twitter: "How can Trudeau justify this deal with the Philippines when Duterte's government has plunged the country into a bad human rights crisis?"

"We respect the stand of Canada", he said.

The helicopter deal with the Philippines, he said, represents yet another example.

The Canadian PM said Duterte has been receptive to comments regarding his government's crackdown on drug dealers that had claimed several lives.

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